Historic England awards £263,000 grant for the repair of Derbyshire’s rare railway station.
Historic England has awarded a grant of £263,000 towards the repair of Wingfield Station, built in 1839-40, which is among the first purpose-built passenger railway stations in the world.
It had been in private hands and at risk for many years. In 2015 it was afforded Grade II* listed status, in recognition of its national significance. Only 8 per cent of all listed buildings are designated Grade II* or Grade I.
Since 2015 Historic England has assisted Amber Valley Borough Council in its discussions with the owner. When it became clear the Borough Council had to use its legal powers to get the building repaired, Historic England stepped in to provide technical advice and grant funding.
Historic England also encouraged the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust (DBHT) to work up a conversion project and secure finance in order to take on the building.
A Compulsory Purchase Order was approved by the Secretary of State and Wingfield Station passed to DBHT in December 2019. DHBT have obtained a Stage 1 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and other funding to develop a project to convert the former station to office use. Historic England has now offered a grant for urgent repairs in order to ensure the building is stabilised and the project is able to progress.
Dr Ben Robinson, Partnerships Leader at Historic England in the Midlands, said: “We can’t afford to lose a building of Wingfield Station’s historical importance. Amber Valley Borough Council showed real leadership in exercising its legal powers to compulsory purchase the former station, and Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust has pulled out all the stops to create an exciting and viable plan for the building’s future.
“The National Lottery is supporting this project, but work is desperately needed now and it will be some time before further Lottery funding can be obtained. So Historic England has provided this grant to make sure that the most urgent repairs are undertaken as soon as feasible and the building is saved.”
Lucy Godfrey, Project Co-ordinator on behalf of DHBT, said:
"Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust (DHBT) has been fortunate enough to receive amazing support from Historic England; from the early days of striving to save this unique Grade II* listed railway station from total ruin, through to acquiring the site from Amber Valley Borough Council, following a successful Compulsory Purchase Order.
“We are now thrilled that Historic England are further helping us to secure the future of the site through their offer of funding via the 'Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk' scheme. Whilst DHBT had recently secured a provision for urgent repairs from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, once we had possession and were able to reassess, the scope and cost of this work far exceeded the budget.
“We can now address risk sooner by preventing further loss of and damage to this significant building. This will bring us much closer to being able to secure a long-term sustainable future for Wingfield Station without damaging its historical and architectural significance in the process.
“The support team at Historic England have contributed an incredible amount of time and energy towards this project, for which DHBT - and our iconic station building - are extremely grateful. We are looking forward to working with the team, alongside our own experts and volunteers, in coming months to identify the best ways in which we can protect Francis Thompson's sole remaining Midland Railway Station."